By Collin Kelley
The holiday season is in full swing, and an eclectic assortment of events is coming up this month around Intown. Whether you want a classic night at the ballet with The Nutcracker or to strip and run down Peachtree Street for charity, there’s something for everyone – including some unique opportunities for last minute gifts.
Atlanta Ballet’s The Nutcracker
The season begins with the return of The Nutcracker to the Fox Theatre. The whimsical holiday tale takes 20 pounds of snow, eight tons of scenery, lighting, and props, and a 38-foot-tall Christmas tree to make the magic of Clara’s unbelievable story come to life. More than 200 of Atlanta’s young dancers will join the Atlanta Ballet professional company for the extravagant production live with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and the Georgia Youth Choir for all performances. The ballet runs Dec. 6-29. Tickets are $20 to $120 and can be purchased at atlantaballet.com.
Santaland Diaries and Madeline at Horizon Theatre
Now celebrating its 15th year, the outrageous comedy Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris follows his real-life stint at working as an elf at Macy’s Department Store in New York during the Christmas season. The show runs Nov. 22 to Dec. 31. Also returning is the popular children’s play Madeline’s Christmas, which features the precocious Parisan schoolgirl on a holiday adventure. For tickets, visit horizontheatre.com.
Peter Pan at Synchronicity
A little pixie dust goes a long way this season as Synchronicity mounts a production of the classic children’s tale Dec. 6-29 at 14th Street Playhouse. You know the story: Wendy is spirited away to the magical island of Neverland by Peter Pan, a boy who can never grow up, to help fight off Captain Hook. Tickets are $10-20. For more information, visit synchrotheatre.com.
Christmas Fair Trade/Alternative Gift Sale
Druid Hills Baptist Church in Poncey-Highland is the location for this unique holiday sale on Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy Christmas music in the sanctuary, food, cider and cookies. There will also be unique gift items for all ages from local vendors selling items made around the world. Learn more at DHBC.org.
The Children’s Christmas Parade
Presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the annual Christmas Parade moves to Midtown for the first time. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 7 along Peachtree Street. There will be floats, giant helium-filled balloons and marching bands and, of course, Santa Clause. If you can’t get out to the parade, it will be aired on WSB-TV. For more information, visit choa.org/parade.
Christmas with the ASO
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra marks the season with concerts on Dec. 13-14 at the Woodruff Arts Center featuring holiday classics. Conductor Norman Mackenzie will wield the baton and the concerts will also feature the Morehouse Glee Clbu, Gwinnett Young Singers and the ASO Chorus. Tickets are $29 to $62. On Dec. 15, Jere Flint will lead special Children’s Concerts featuring the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. Tickets are $12 to $22. For a schedule and to buy tickets, visit atlantasymphony.org.
Atlanta Santa Speedo Run
Strip down to your Speedos or skivvies for the fifth annual event on Dec. 14. The starting line is at Hudson Grille at 2 p.m. (registration and merry-making begins at noon) and this year’s course is Peachtree Street. The year’s beneficiary is Kate’s Club, the organization that supports youth that have lost a parent or loved one. To register, visit atlantasantaspeedorun.org.
A Russian Christmas in Atlanta
St. Philip’s Cathedral in Buckhead will play host to the State Capella of Russia, which will perform season favorites and folksongs, on Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $30 in advance at stphilipscathedral.org/concerttickets.
Janke Studios in the Old Fourth Ward will host the annual GlassFest on Dec. 14 from noon to 6 p.m. at Studioplex. There will be glassblowing exhibitions, flameworking demos, live music, kid’s area, refreshments and market for unique glass gifts. For more information, visit jankestudios.com.
Atlanta History Center’s The Holiday Spirit
The Atlanta History Center’s annual holiday program on Dec. 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. is filled with family activities that celebrate the season. Holiday crafts, live music, decorations, theatrical performances, and a visit from Saint Nick are all part of the event. Featured activities include time travel to explore holidays past at Smith Family Farm and Swan House where guests encounter friendly “spirits” from the 1860s and the 1930s. The event is free with general admission. For more, visit atlantahistorycenter.com.
Celebrate the season with fiddlers, bagpipers, harpers, singers, dancers and poets from the Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Appalachian traditions on Dec. 21-22 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in Downtown. Featured performers include Grammy-nominated Irish singer John Doyle, Jamie Laval, The Rosin Sisters and more. Tickets are $16 to $63. For more, visit thecelticcompany.com.
Peach Drop at Underground Atlanta
More than 100,000 people are expected at Underground Atlanta for the 25th annual New Year’s celebration. The event actually begins at 11 a.m. on New Year’s Eve with music and family events. The main event, the dropping of the 800-pound peach at midnight, will be followed by fireworks, and other festivities until 3 a.m. For a full schedule of events, a list of musicians playing on the different stages, and a live countdown to 2014, visit peachdrop.com.